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Digital and Film

September 2005

Just listened to a story on NPR about Herman Leonard losing a lot of his work that was in his studio due to Hurricane Katrina. Sad, but it seems he managed to keep most of his negs safe. His outlook is hard to beat, saying that it will inspire him to get back into the darkroom. This got me thinking about another difference between digital and film based photography. With film, if a neg (or chrome) is destroyed or lost, it's gone. The best you can hope for is to try to get a reproduction from a print. Not the best by any means. With digital, you can duplicate the original file in a virtually unlimited number of locations that should effectively provide for preservation of the original indefinitely. (Of course, with digital it's all to easy to not back something up and then do something stupid and erase them in a heartbeat.) Photographer have been storing negs for a long time now, but as the migration to digital marches on, I wonder how the shooter of the future will think about the difference. Will they see the fact that there is one and only one original from film as terrifying? Perhaps digital formats will become so bogged down with Digital Rights Management that professional shooter will go back to film to ensure they to provide the services they need to their clients. Whatever comes to pass, do your best to protect your film and backup your files. Also, check out hermanleonard.com to view some of his amazing photographs. -- cagegories -- tagPhotography

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